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Monday, March 14, 2011

Portrait of the violinist as a yink

Violinists grow up playing a lot of garbage. At the dinner table they force-feed you brussels sprouts, but twelve-year-old violinists are playing Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski, Paganini if they can hack it - musical junk food! - and it's supposed to be good for them. I'm not the only one to invoke a food-related metaphor for this sort of music: Juliette, following Stuart Canin's performance of Saint-SaĆ«ns's Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, called it Violin Vomit.

The first decent music a student violinist is generally permitted to get his or her hands on is the Mendelssohn Concerto. Here is my performance of it with the Symphony of the Redwoods - October 30th, 1994 (Juliette is first stand cello, inside, with the black headscarf) with Allan Pollack conducting the orchestra at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, California - home of Boontling and setting of Eisa Davis's play Bulrusher. Doesn't my performance of this as a yink make you want to bow for me?

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